Favorite Books of 2014

I can’t believe another year has gone by! So much has happened this past year, and even with everything going on in my life I have managed to read 80 books this year! It is so hard to narrow them down to my favorites, but I did my best. Here are my favorite books from 2014:

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra ClareCity of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

This has to be one of my favorite series of all time. I loved the first three books and when I found out that Cassandra Clare had decided to write another three books I was so excited! This is the final book in The Mortal Instruments series and it was slightly daunting at a whopping 725 pages but the book is so good that you don’t even realize the length. I will miss this characters terribly but look forward to the spinoff series that Clare is writing!

 

Release date: May 27, 2014

 

 

 

 

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFeversMortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

Another series finale, Mortal Heart started off a bit slow but picked up in the middle and turned out to be a fantastic final book in the His Fair Assassin series. I loved reading about Annith, a character who has intrigued me since book one, and her story had even more twists and turns than the previous two. Review to come soon!

 

 

Release date: November 4, 2014

 

 

 

IMG_1847Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

This is another one of my absolute favorite series, and it seems like each book gets better and better. This is the third but not final book in the series, and will just leave you desperate for the next book to be released!

 

 

Release date: October 21, 2014

 

 

 

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. MaasHeir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

I will probably read anything that Sarah J. Maas writes because her writing is so phenomenal. This is the third book in this series and I am still just as interested if not more interested than I was after the first book. Each of these books is amazing and I am so glad I waited hours on line to get an ARC of this one at BEA.

 

 

Release date: September 2, 2014

 

 

 

The Jewel by Amy EwingThe Jewel by Amy Ewing

This book had amazing world building and an eerie plot about pregnancy and surrogacy. While the romance in the book was a bit of a flop, the book didn’t center around it but rather focused on the messed up world of the Jewel and it’s backstabbing royals. I’m anxious to read more about this world so I look forward to the next book.

 

 

Release date: September 2, 2014

 

 

 

The One by Kiera CassThe One by Kiera Cass

I loved the first two books in this trilogy and I couldn’t wait to see how it would end. I literally read this book in less than a day because I couldn’t wait to find out how everything would be wrapped up. I’m so excited that Cass decided to write another book, The Heir, due out next spring!

 

 

Release date: May 6, 2014

 

 

 

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. PearsonThe Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

What I really loved about this book was the narration–it is told from three separate points of view, with a slight twist near the end that totally got me. Great start to a new series!

 

 

Release date: July 8, 2014

 

 

 

The Winner's Curse by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Loved this book!! Beautiful world building and an incredible story. I couldn’t put this one down and after the ending I am anxiously awaiting the next book!

 

 

Release date: March 4, 2014

 

 

 

Cress by Marissa MeyerCress by Marissa Meyer

This is another series that gets better with each book. This book introduced Cress, whose story is a retelling of Rapunzel. I loved her story and how it intertwined with Cinder’s and Scarlet’s stories.

 

 

Release date: February 4, 2014

 

 

 

Ignite Me by Tahereh MafiIgnite Me by Tahereh Mafi

I just actually read this entire trilogy this year and I can’t believe I waited so long before reading it. Mafi’s writing is gorgeous, and this book was SO GOOD!! I love the main character and how she became so strong from the first book to the final book. This is a series I could read over and over again!

 

 

Release date: February 4, 2014

 

 

 

What were some of your favorite books from this year? Anything you missed that you wished you had read this year?

Happy New Year everyone!!

The TBR Tag

TBR TagMy good friend Lisa over at Read.Breathe.Relax tagged me for the TBR tag post! It’s time to take a serious look at the dreaded To Be Read pile.

The TBR Tag originated over at Dana Square and A Perfection Called Books.

 

So let’s examine my TBR pile!

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I mainly use Goodreads. I have a wishlist over on Barnes & Noble but I rarely check it. Goodreads is great because I can tag different books under different categories and even put my TBR in reading list order. I also have two bookshelves in my house: one full of books already read and another full of books to be read! That makes it easier to just grab and go.

Is your TBR mostly print or ebooks?

Definitely ebooks. They’re just so much easier because I can have them all on one tablet so when making the choice between print or ebook I usually choose ebook.

How do you determine which book to read first?

I usually tell myself that I need to read the books that I already own before buying something new to read but that almost never happens. I’ll be on Goodreads and see that the sequel to something got released and then I’ll immediately download the ebook and read that instead of something I already own. Or I’ll request it at the library and then when it comes in I’ll end up reading that first because I have limited time to read it. I definitely pick what to read based on my mood also–sometimes I’ll be really sick of one genre and I’ll be craving a different genre. Lately I find myself reading a lot of contemporary but I’ve been craving a bit of sci fi.

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?

Outlander by Diana GabaldonOutlander by Diana Gabaldon. My mom is a HUGE fan of this series and has been trying to get me into it for years. I added this to my TBR back on July 15, 2011. I haven’t read it yet because it’s not YA but now that the TV show is on (which is awesome by the way) I definitely will be bumping this up on my reading list.

 

 

 

 

A book you’ve recently added to your TBR list?

The Heir by Kiera Cass Preview

The Heir by Kiera Cass. Just added this morning! So excited that there will be another book in The Selection series!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A book on your TBR list strictly because of its beautiful cover?

Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam

Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam. Such a pretty cover and the story sounds interesting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?

The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienThe Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Sorry, but it was hard enough getting through The Lord of the Rings books. Everyone says The Hobbit isn’t as hard to get through, but after seeing the movie (which I almost fell asleep during) I’m gonna pass on this one.

 

 

 

 

 

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited about?

The Winner's Crime by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski, sequel to The Winner’s Curse. The first book was excellent and ended on such a cliffhanger! It’s going to be hard to wait until March 2015 for this one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A book that everyone’s read but you?

Shadow and Bone by Leigh BardugoShadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Everyone seems to love this one but for some reason I haven’t read it yet. Must read soon!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

The 5th Wave by Rick YanceyThe 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. It seems like everyone loves this one and I keep telling myself I’m going to read it next but then a sequel to something else comes out and this one gets pushed back again.

 

 

 

 

 

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra ClareCity of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. I had this pre-ordered forever and now it’s just sitting on my shelf. I’m dying to read it but it is HUGE!!! I know that it’ll take me awhile to read, especially now that the baby is here, so I’ve been avoiding it for awhile. However, I need to know how the series ends!!!

 

 

 

 

 

The number of books on your TBR shelf?

An overwhelming 518!! I need to get on that…

 

 

Favorite Books of 2013

There were so many fantastic books released this year so it was really hard for me to narrow it down to just ten books like I really loved. Since it would have been even harder for me to distinguish the best of the ten, I have simply put my list this year in alphabetical order:

Allegiant by Veronica RothAllegiant by Veronica Roth

I know there was a lot of controversy surrounding this book–some people gave it one star on Goodreads, others gave it five–but overall I really loved the way the series was concluded. There were so many people that hated the ending but I think that it made sense for it to end the way it did. I also liked that in this book we were able to get more into Tobias’s mind and I think it helped me to understand his character a lot better.

 

 

 

 

 

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareClockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

I’ve been a huge fan of the Shadowhunter world since I first read City of Bones a few years ago, and I was so excited that Clare’s prequel trilogy was just as good if not better than The Mortal Instruments series. I admit that I was nervous about how this trilogy would end, but I am so glad that it ended the way it did. I honestly think that this is Clare’s best book yet, and I’m excited to read all of the new series she has in the works already.

 

 

 

 

 

17167166Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

I didn’t know if this book could be as good as Throne of Glass, but Maas did an excellent job with this one. It was even better than the first book, filled with so many twists and turns that I had to keep turning pages. The ending was not something I expected either, so I eagerly await the next book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dare You To by Katie McGarryDare You To by Katie McGarry

I will probably read anything that Katie McGarry writes because so far every book I’ve read by her has been great. Dare You To has been my favorite of her books so far. I loved Beth’s attitude and the way that Ryan was able to finally make her trust again. This was a great love story that I highly recommend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dream Thieves by Maggie StiefvaterThe Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

THIS BOOK! I absolutely loved The Raven Boys and the sequel was just as good. The writing in this book was beautiful and the story got even better. I love this series and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Elite by Kiera CassThe Elite by Kiera Cass

This is another series that I absolutely love. While I will admit, some of America’s back and forth between Aspen and Maxon did annoy me a little, I still could not put this book down. I have no idea how it is all going to end but I can’t wait to find out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell

This was such a cute story! It really brought me back to my own fangirl days of Harry Potter fanfiction. This was a really great story about family and adjusting to college life, and definitely a must read!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Madman's Daughter by Megan SheperdThe Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

This book both fascinated me and scared me. It was super creepy at times but the scientist in me loved it. The ending almost made me scream until I realized that there is a sequel planned. Definitely not something I would recommend reading alone at night, but a must read for sure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Requiem by Lauren OliverRequiem by Lauren Oliver

This was another book I was nervous about, because the ending of the previous book was definitely not expected. I wasn’t sure how Oliver would wrap this all up, but I think she did a good job. It wasn’t your typical ending but I liked how it was slightly open ended. Overall, a great conclusion to the series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scarlet by Marissa MeyerScarlet by Marissa Meyer

I love how each of these books is a retelling of a different fairy tale. This one is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, yet we still get glimpses of what is going on with Cinder. Scarlet is such a great character, and I loved the way her story intertwined with Cinder’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obviously this was a fantastic year for YA! What were your favorite books from 2013? What are you excited to read in 2014?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareWARNING: SPOILERS FOR PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE INFERNAL DEVICES TRILOGY AHEAD

“’Most people are lucky to have even one great love in their life. You have found two.’”

Mortmain is determined to use his clockwork soldiers to destroy the Shadowhunters once and for all, and the last piece of the puzzle that he needs is Tessa Gray. When Tessa is kidnapped by Mortmain, the two boys who love her, Jem and Will, are willing to do anything to save her. While Tessa waits for someone to come and find her, she begins to realize that she is the only one who can save herself and hopefully the rest of the Shadowhunter world.

I am a huge fan of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, so naturally I love The Infernal Devices as well. But honestly, I think Clockwork Princess is Clare’s best book yet. This book had a perfect balance of romance, humor, action, and suspense and the writing overall was incredible. Every loose end was tied up and I found myself nearly in tears at the end of the book, both because of the beautiful ending and the fact that such a great series is coming to an end. Clare really delivered with this book and I couldn’t have imagined a better way for this series to end.

Tessa is such a great character–she is absolutely no damsel in distress and she seemed to grow even stronger in this book, even after all she had to endure. She comes to realize that she is a vital member of the team of Shadowhunters, even though she is not exactly a Shadowhunter herself. Since the first book, she has been torn between Jem and Will, and this book starts out with her feelings once again conflicted because while she is engaged to marry Jem, she still harbors feelings for Will. I was worried that there would be no possible way for this to end well, but surprisingly Clare came up with something I completely didn’t see coming. I think the way she handled this love triangle was very unique but very fitting for the story. I loved both of Tessa’s love interests, so I was anxious to see how this love triangle would be resolved.

What really makes this book is the cast of characters. Clare really gives each of them a voice and I found myself just as interested in the side plots and romances as in the main love triangle. Each character brings something different to the story, and there is not a single character that I didn’t grow to love. Clare has a knack for jumping back and forth between characters without making the story choppy, which is something that is not easy to do. I also loved how Magnus Bane is still involved in this story, and it was interesting to see how some of the events in this book affect what happened in the Mortal Instruments books.

Overall, Clockwork Princess was the perfect conclusion to a fantastic series. While I am sad to see this series end, I am very pleased with the way it did.

Clockwork Princess was released on March 19, 2013 and is the final book in The Infernal Devices trilogy.

Book to Film: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR CITY OF BONES

To say that I have been anxiously awaiting this movie would be an understatement. I’m a huge Cassandra Clare fan and I love every book she has written so far. I was really excited when I found out a few years ago that City of Bones was going to be made into a film, and after such a long time of just being “in the works”, the movie is finally here! So, how does it compare to the book?

There is a very small percentage of movies that are better than the books they are based on, at least in my opinion. I definitely was not expecting the movie to be better than the book because things are always changed/cut out for one reason or another. While the movie wasn’t amazing, it was still a pretty good adaptation in my opinion.

I had been very nervous when I heard that Jamie Campbell Bower had been cast as Jace because for some reason I just could not see it at all. However, after seeing the movie, I think he actually did a really good job! He brought Jace’s wry humor and arrogant attitude to the screen very well, and he did a good job of acting more vulnerable and sensitive when he was alone with Clary. Lily Collins did an excellent job as Clary, and there was definitely some great chemistry between Jace and Clary on screen. As for the supporting cast, I would have to say my favorite was Simon–he did a really great job and he was exactly how I had pictured Simon in the books.

There were, of course, some changes from book to film. Now I haven’t read City of Bones in a few years so correct me if I’m wrong here, but I seem to remember the whole Simon becoming a vampire thing happening in the first book. While Simon’s abduction by vampires happened in the movie, it was only hinted at that he would later become one. I could’ve sworn this happened in the first book but I could be wrong. Also, in the book the final scene with Valentine and Jace and Clary occurs at some abandoned house somewhere, while in the movie it happens at the Institute. I would imagine this change served budget purposes–they wouldn’t have to build another set/find another off site place to film–but the only thing that bothered me about this is that the Institute is supposed to be their safe house and suddenly it was so easy for all of these people to break in? Kind of defeats the purpose a bit.

Overall, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was a good film with great casting and really well done action scenes. While it is not the best book to film adaptation, it is most certainly nowhere near the worst. I really enjoyed this one and I look forward to seeing the next film!

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was released in theaters on August 21, 2013 and is based on City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, which was released on March 27, 2007.

March 2013 Preview

Oh my goodness, this has been such a busy semester for me! If I haven’t been reading a book for school I’ve been writing papers or working, so I’ve had very little time to blog. Thank goodness Spring Break is only two weeks away so hopefully I’ll be able to catch up on my non-school reading! Here are a couple of books I’m looking forward to this month:

 

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

The Delirium trilogy is one of my favorite dystopian trilogies! Lauren Oliver writes a thrilling story that keeps you turning pages until the end. The previous book, Pandemonium, ended on a crazy cliffhanger and I can’t wait to see how everything is resolved in Requiem.

Release date:  March 5, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

The Infernal Devices trilogy is a steampunk prequel to The Mortal Instruments series, but it can still be read even if you haven’t read any of those books. I love both of these series, but I’m incredibly torn about the love triangle in this one! I honestly think I’ll be happy with however it turns out because I love all of the characters, and I can’t wait to see how the story wraps up in this final book.

Release date:  March 19, 2013

 

 

 

 

Hopefully I can catch up on my reading this month because April is going to be an even busier month for YA book releases! Which March releases are you looking forward to? Anyone else looking forward to Spring Break?